About us Study at Icam Student life at Icam Partner universities Company Research

ISOBEE : a connected beehive adapted to protect bees

3 May 2024

The ISOBEE project being worked on by 4th year students at the Icam Strasbourg-Europe site is a major undertaking: saving bees and supporting beekeepers !

Beekeeping today faces many challenges : the appearance of new diseases in colonies, the evolution of existing diseases and resistance to new treatments. In spite of everything, bees need to maintain living conditions inside the hive, i.e. a constant temperature of 36°C and a humidity level of 60% ! But global warming is forcing them to ventilate more, leading to premature exhaustion and even death.
Action is therefore urgently needed. That’s why Icam was approached by the Fédération des Associations pour le Développement de l’Apiculture en France (Federation of Associations for the Development of Beekeeping in France), and in particular the ADA Grand Est, which has been working for 7 years to promote modern, sustainable beekeeping.

The aim of the ISOBEE project is to find the hive that provides the best insulation, so that the bees tire much less. How do we achieve this? By comparing the materials and configurations used today (type of hive, open and closed floors, etc.), and by building a dummy swarm to test the best configuration.

The first two aspects of the project were carried out by a team of students who :
– developed a measuring instrument capable of measuring temperature, humidity and CO2 in the hive in real time;
– created a dummy swarm to start measurements and define an experimental protocol without the constraints of a real swarm.

The final stage, for the new team, will involve building a climatic chamber in which to place the hive in order to simulate different temperatures and humidity levels and test its resistance to climatic variations throughout the year. The aim is to be able to maintain control over the hive’s external conditions by simulating a wintering period, thus ensuring reproducible handling.

Field trip for Jade Houdinet, Louise-Camille Desroches, Emma Gauthier, Léo Wersonger and Constance Bois, forming the first ISOBEE project team.